Home

What's New

Media Hit | Budget, Food, Tax

Farm Bill needs to Cut the Fat

Of the $277 billion spent on agricultural subsidies since 1995, 75 percent of the total went to just 3.8 percent of U.S. farmers, skewed towards the largest farms — not small family farms. Massachusetts consumers’ share of the cost for junk food subsidies is about $22.6 million each year on average, compared with just under $800,000 in subsidies for apples. That’s enough to buy 61 million Twinkies, but only 1.6 million apples.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Consumers Seeing Benefits of Credit CARD Act Protections | Deirdre Cummings

The MASSPIRG-backed Credit CARD Act improved consumer disclosures, protected college students and young people from unfair marketing and also banned the worst tricks used by credit card companies. In particular, it made it much harder to trick or force consumers into paying late fees, and so, as the story explains:
"Customers are also happier when it comes to both annual fees and penalty fees charged by credit card companies. When it comes to penalty fees, “One of the reasons the score is getting better is because fewer customers are having their late fees increased,” says Jim Miller, senior director of J.D. Power’s banking practice."

> Keep Reading
Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Before You Fly, Know the Fees | Deirdre Cummings

Planning on flying out of Logan any time soon? Check out this great survey by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs of all the extra fees each airline charges consumers – including fees to reschedule flight, baggage fees, seat assignment fees, pet fees and others.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Health Care

Health insurers’ earnings plunge for 2nd quarter

Deirdre Cummings, legislative director for the nonprofit Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, said that while premium increases have been moderating, businesses and individuals still haven’t felt sufficient relief after enduring a decade of soaring premiums.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit | Budget, Tax

State's tax breaks must be subject to accountability, transparency

Massachusetts has more than doubled special targeted tax breaks to businesses since 1996, with costs to the state budget topping $770 million last year. It is troubling that many programs funded through business tax breaks lack clear goals, much less any way to measure progress toward those goals or ability to reclaim tax breaks that fail to deliver results.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Media Hit | Solid Waste

The Berkshire Eagle - Bill would extend deposit to more bottles

Litterbugs and waste mongers will get a fresh incentive to take bottles and cans to recycling centers across the state under a series of amendments to the state's "bottle bill." New legislation to update the 24-year-old bottle bill would add a 5 cent deposit to noncarbonated beverages, such as iced tea, sports drinks, fruit juices and bottled water. Bottles used for dairy products, instant formula, and FDA-approved medicines would remain off the list.

> Keep Reading

The Boston Globe - Clean Goes Green

Though not as sexy as fighting acid rain, global warming, or the desecration of rain forests, the environmental movement is turning its attention to indoor pollution, warning of dangers that may lurk in cleaning products used on living room furniture, in toilet bowls, and on desktops.

> Keep Reading
Media Hit

The Republican - Plastic-bag era ending at local grocery stores

It is part of a growing consensus that the ubiquitous plastic bags, which all too often end up as roadside litter, can no longer be used with a clear conscience.

> Keep Reading

USA Today - Safe cigarettes sometimes snuffed

Most of the 300 to 350 seniors killed each year in cigarette fires die in private homes. But cigarettes also are the leading cause of fire deaths in institutions that care for seniors. A USA TODAY analysis of more than 100 fatal fires since 1999 in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and senior housing shows that about 50% began with a cigarette.

> Keep Reading

Environment News Service - New York State Mandates Green Cleaning Products in Schools

Governor George Pataki signed legislation Wednesday that protects children, teachers and all school personnel from toxic cleaning products used by many schools.

> Keep Reading

Pages

DEFEND THE CFPB

Tell your representative to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

Support Us

Your donation supports MASSPIRG's work to stand up for consumers on the issues that matter, especially when powerful interests are blocking progress.

Consumer Alerts

Join our network and stay up to date on our campaigns, get important consumer updates and take action on critical issues.
Optional Member Code